(Bihar Times) It is Monday November 03, 2008. Old wine is still spilling from the cracking bottle of Indian democracy. To this moment, there is embarrassing news for the nation India (in the Daily Pioneer online edition) “Vilasrao snubs PM”… It must be remembered here one more time… Vilasrao (Deshmukh) is a Chief Minister of Maharashtra and PM stands for Prime Minister of India, and “RASHTRA” has further been dwarfed by MAHARASHTRA on the issues involved in and around Raj Thakeray. Vilasrao strongly favored the need for Mumbai to have a "Maharashtrian ethos". He said, "The simple reason is where you live, why don’t you want to identify with that local culture and language? What is wrong with it? You go to Tamil Nadu, you go to Kerala, and Bengal …everywhere the medium of communication is the local language. Why should it be different in Mumbai?"
What exactly is the "Maharashtrian ethos"? Is it different to that of Indian (National) ethos?
It is related to language, let’s start protecting "Maharashtrian ethos" at elementary school level, and let’s rejuvenate Marathi art, craft and theatre. Stop the mushrooming of A,B,C,D… type Kindergarten in even slum areas (Dharavi) of Mumbai. Ban the JALWA type ‘voluptuous pleasure’ for Mumbai Police day in Hindi only.
Bring to a halt flaunting English-speaking superiority over other cities of Maharashtra . Let Ministers in ‘Mantralaya’ start speaking, communicating and addressing to media in Marathi only. I appreciate Raj Thakeray at least in the sense that he speaks only Marathi in public, although he favors “Fork-Spoon” culture for his loved ones. Finally, it is the time to condemn DADA KONDKE’s Hindi version of Marathi movies, such as “Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein” that further lowered the ‘theatric culture of Maharashtra ’ more than that of taxiwallah/thelawallah of Mumbai speaking their own dialect of Devnagari script.
Finally, Mr. Deshmukh, unless Mumbai stops making and releasing ‘Hindi’ movies, "Maharashtrian ethos" will never be restored (in Mumbai). Movie is a mirror of Society. And, Marathi language is losing battle on this count in Mumbai. This is certainly not because of poor people of north India.
Language which we speak is an essence of cultural identity. Languages such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magahi, Angika and Bajjika are the reflection of our present culture in Bihar . As nation India adopts Hindi as a link national language, a language that was used as a tool to undermine Macaulay education system, a language during Freedom struggle was assimilated further into Bihari culture in the form of nationalism. Thus, as Saroor Ahmed says in his article “Bal-raj Syndrome…” common mass of Bihar always felt proud of seeing the skyline of Mumbai and Bengaluru. Speaking of Hindi language gave common Bihari a feeling of thinking Great India, from Jammu & Kashmir to Kanya Kumari and, from Dwarika ( Gujarat ) to Sadia (Arunachal Pradesh). Real face of India got exposed, when RR Patil/Deshmukh verbally showed the sense of Indianness, which Mr. LK Advani is looking for the past 50 years.
Is the Hindi speaking Nationalism the fallout of Bihari Pride today? The answer is yes.
Hard-working Biharis of all spheres of lives ignored and moved on despite sensing “Invisible hate” all across India . Despite knowing the fact that Bihar could not get enough supportive funds from Nationalized Policy on Minerals, Biharis continued their Nationalistic approach, never fought like others and did not think much for their home state and considered other states as a part of India. No political leaders from Bihar ever talked of only Bihar and Biharis despite having lots of Minerals and resources. As Saroor Ahmed says, for examples, price of coal in Dhanbad (Bihar, a place of coal mine) and in Bombay ( Maharashtra ) was made almost similar under nationalized scheme. Uranium mined from JaduGuda (Bihar/Jharkhand) was refined in Tarapur ( Maharashtra ), and electricity generated at Tarapur atomic power plant was distributed to Maharashtra Farmer. Case is very simplistic in nature like movie “UPKAR”, where Manoj (Bharat) Kumar kept singing “Mere Desh ki Dharti Sona Ugle… and his brother Prem (Puran) Chopra galloped his course of meal too. Nevertheless, Manoj (Bharat) Kumar remained silent. Bihar is no different than Upkar’s Manoj (Bharat) Kumar.
October 27, 2008 was a great day for the people of Bihar. First time since India gained independence; leaders of Bihar realized that they and their resources were being (mis)used and thrown. Amount of hate what RR Patil generated was another round of defeat of nationalism generated via Hindi. Biharis are now paying the price of being “Hindistic Nationalism’ and look at the reciprocation from all other quarters. For a people of Bihar, working in Thiruanantpuram or Coimbatore is a national taste of cultural diversity. Buying home in Bengaluru/Hyderabad minus cities of Jammu and Kashmir is a pride of national identity, call it false now.
Union Government declared Hindi as a link National Language, but the biggest victim was Bihar, which lost touch with his own languages. Speaking national language gave Bihari a national pride in Bihar , but not job of its kind. State neither got associated truly with Hindi nor got associated truly with English, a langauge that has defeated the purpose of Hindi being national language. It is known to everyone that latter one has greater role in shaping ones’ career even in Parliament, where ¾ proceedings are carried out in English. And, who can know better than Bihar’s leaders like Mr. Lalu Yadav, who may deny to have felt the sweltering heat, but overall it is highly noticeable in Parliament.
There’s no better feeling than being in control of our better political future in terms of linguistic identity.
Resignation is a symbolic symptom of frustration that can be healed by changing acts of political circus. Threatening to resign en masse by the leaders of Bihar may put pressure on Union Government, or possibly Government of Maharashtra, but the country’s unity would be the ultimate loser. Raj Thakeray is not the core issue associated with Bihar . He is not the subject that needs to be addressed by walking out the parliament. Raj Thakeray is fighting for marathi culture and has both silent and simmering supports from all walks of lives as is evident from the statements delivered by the leaders of all political parties in Maharashtra .
Let us plan a new revolution of cultural identity in Bihar. Land of Bihar has varied linguistic capability. But none of them are capable enough, at this stage now, to bring Bihar back to the glorious period of “Sanskrit-ArdhMagaghi-Pali-Prakrit-Urdu-Hindi”……English. Let Government of Bihar introduce ‘English’ as a formal official language. Let Bihar understand the need of educating all in one common language English. This will carve a new niche for Bihar . Let us face the reality at this moment; Language spoken by average mass will be paving a path of new identity officially only when amendments are made in the provisions of Bihar Official Langauage Act, 1950.
There is a proverb that says if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We (Bihari) have to go far, quickly. Present Bihar is in the ‘political cage’ of I, My and Mine of yesteryears politics, more emphatically after the “unforgettable” 1973 movement. Who is responsible? Definitely, it is the leadership of the past and present who failed to translate their character, vision, passion and creativity in the real world of politics. Those who run Government must know why their employees, their residents, their students do not feel ‘warmth’ of the Government and keep them sweating at HARTALI CHOWK and elsewhere in Bihar. It should have been otherwise, I believe.
Let the word ‘NETA’ in Hindi not to become sardonic for those who even dare to talk about ‘LEADER’ in English. Let us stop the fast replicating parasitic approach with an insatiable desire luring more and more unmindful Biharis and their contribution to the ever expanding, cancerous growth, The NETAGIRI (Leader-aii). A great man is one who has a great following and whose ideology percolates as the year pass by, gives opportunity to seek inspiration, and remove all hurdles to remember him. Description about Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain at Elementary Schools in USA shows how leadership can be groomed and channeled for the better future of the country. Inspiration is certainly the arousal of the mind, a special influence on the minds of human beings. Inspiration can be drawn from any corners of the world and from any person. Let us break the jinx speaking politics at Institutions like IITs - who can become a leader? -- One that ‘mis-leads’ or ‘mis-guides’! Let us bring “forward” an inspirational leadership, which could influence a group of people to move towards its goal-setting.
A lot of thanks to Dr. Sudhir Ranjan ji for such a good article!
I appreciate your well written article and am hoping more from distinguished writer who can play a big roll in awaking our sleeping Bihari leaders , Bureaucrats, celebrities , technocrats, journalists, intellectuals , and common people to do something for our own home state Bihar which has fallen far behind in race of development. I am very much agreed with the above article that we Bihari never fought for our right .I have no much idea about it but I remember when in 1988, Shri Bhagbat Jha Azad became Chief Minister and raised the issues as to how much Bihar was loosing as excise duties and other taxes for being so many Head Quarters -of so many Bihar based central institutions like BCCL,CIL,etc- lying out of Bihar. It is true that since Nitishji came to power Bihar has started to change but it requires momentum . People of Bihar have a lot of expectation from him and he will not disappoint them as he has Vision , Education and Mission..It is also true that Laluji is also doing very fine work for whole nation as well as Bihar as Railway minister. Laluji got punishment from the people of Bihar for not doing development work during his 15 –year regime in Bihar. Rmavilashji is also doing good work as union Minister. Laluji has a lot of potential to do more things for his home state. Today Bihari word has become synonyms of abusive word due to our poverty and lack of development. Our people have no regional affinity and no state can develope without affinity towards the region. Our regional affinity-talk is not against any one like Bal-Raj Thakre but for making own state developed and consequently Our nation. Bal- Raj are against migrants labourers but never talk about inflow of raw material & capital from
different parts of country to Maharastra and outflow of finished goods from Maharastra to different parts of country. Today they are defining locals are those who are from the province or state but what is guarantee they will not give tomorrow new definition of locals on District or Taluka level. It is not matter of UP –Bihar & Maharshtra but union of India Which guarantees free movement of Raw-Materials and capital along with human beings too.
It is my humble request to the Editor ,The Bihar Times , to convey the feelings of viewers up to corridors of powers and rule makers.
Jai Hind ! Jai Bihar !
Arvind Kumar , Delhi
A very well written article. The only question I have is-- why stay together with a family who treats you like a stepchild? Bihar is better off without india. We do not have any foreign threats. On our own we can become the breadbasket of the world. Let us create Bihar along with Jharkhand a separate nation with the name of "mauryannation" with patliputra as it's capital.
Abhay Bbhagat, Portland,usa
A very well written Article by Sudhir Ranjan... A request to the editor that please hand over a copy of this article to the MLAs..So that they can realise what They hav done and what they have not done...